- Zand dynasty
Infobox Former Country
native_name =امپراتوری ایران
conventional_long_name = Persian Empire
common_name = Persia
continent = Asia
region = Middle East
country = Iran
status = Empire
year_start = 1750
year_end = 1794
event_start = Zand dynasty begins
event_end = Qajar dynasty begins
p1 = Afsharid dynasty
flag_p1 = Nadir Shah Flag.png
s1 = Qajar dynasty
flag_s1 = Flag of Persia (1910).svg
common_languages = Persian
government_type = Monarchy
Karim Khan Zand(first)
year_leader1 = 1750-1779
Lotf Ali Khan Zand(last)
year_leader2 = 1789-1794
The Zand dynasty (audio|zand.ogg|Zand) (سلسله زندیه) ruled southern and central
Iran( 1750– 1794) in the eighteenth century.
Karim Khan Zand
The dynasty was founded by
Karim Khan, chief of the Zand tribe. He became one of Nadir Shah's generals. [ [http://www.iranchamber.com/history/zand/zand.php History of Iran: Zand Dynasty ] ] Nadershah moved the Zand tribe form their home in Lorestanto the eastern steppes of Khorasan. After Nader’s death, the Zand tribe, under the guidance of Karim Khan, went back to their original land. [http://www.iranologie.com/history/history13.html] After Adil Shah was made king Karim Khanand his soldiers defected from the army and along with Ali Morad Khan Bakhtiari and Abolfath Khan Haft Lang, two other local chiefs, became a major contender but was challenged by several adversaries. [http://www.farhangsara.com/history_afshar.htm History of Iran ] ] Abolfath Khan was the Prime Minister, Karim Khan got became the army chief commander and Ali Morad Khan became the regent. Karim Khan declared Shirazhis capital. He gained control of central and southern parts of Iran. In order to add legitimacy to his claim, Karim Khanplaced the infant Shah Ismail III, the grandson of the last Safavid king in 1757on the throne. Ismail was a figurehead king and real power being vested in Karim Khan. Karim Khanchose to be the military commander and Alimardan Khan was the civil administrator. Soon enough Karim Khan managed to eliminate his partner as well as the puppet king and in 1760, founded his own dynasty. He refused to accept the title of the king and instead named himself "The Advocate of the People".
By 1760 Karim Khan had defeated all his rivals and controlled all of Iran except Khorasan, in the northeast, which was ruled by Shah Rukh. His foreign campaigns against
Azad Khanin Azerbaijanand against the Ottomans in Mesopotamiabrought Azerbaijan and the province of Basrainto his control. But he never stopped his campaigns against his arch-enemey, Mohammad Hassan Khan Qajar, the chief of the Quvanlu Qajars. The latter was finally defeated by Karim Khan and his sons, Agha Mohammad Khanand Hosseingholi Khan, were brought to Shiraz as hostages.
Karim Khan's monuments in
Shirazinclude the famous Arg of Karim Khan, Vakil Bazaar, and several mosques and gardens. He is also responsible for building of a palace in the town of Tehran, the future capital of the Qajar dynasty.
Decline and Fall
Karim Khan's death in
1779left his territory vulnerable to threats from his enemies. His son and successor Abu al-Fathwas an incompetent ruler who was heavily influenced by his half uncle (and Karim Khan's commander), Zaki Khan. Other rulers such as Ali Moradand Jafar Khanalso failed to follow the policies of Karim Khan and soon enough, the country was under attack from all sides.
The biggest enemies of the Zands, the
Qajarchiefs, lead by the former hostage, Agha Mohammad Khan, were advancing fast against the declining kingdom. Finally, in 1789, Lotf Ali Khan, a grand-nephew of Karim Khan, declared himself the new king. His reign (until 1794) was spent mostly in war with the Qajar khan. He was finally captured and brutally killed in the fortress of Bam, putting an effective end to the Zand Dynasty.
Politically, it is also important that the Zands, especially Karim Khan, chose to call themselves "Vakilol Ro'aya" ("Advocate of the People") instead of kings. Other than the obvious propaganda value of the title, it can be a reflection of the popular demands of the time, expecting rulers with popular leanings instead of absolute monarchs who were totally detached from the population, like the earlier Safavids.
After the Islamic Revolution of 1979 the Zand was the only dynasty whose names on public places and monuments were not removed by the new Republican government.
The Zand era was an era of relative peace and economic growth for the country. Many territories that were captured by the Ottomans in the late Safavid times were taken back and Iran was once again a coherent and prosperous country. After Iranian painting reached its height at the end of the 17th century, a special school of painting took shape during the Zand era in the 17th and 18th centuries. [ [http://www2.irib.ir/worldservice/englishRADIO/IRAN/iranart.htm New Page 1 ] ] The art of this era is remarkable and despite the short length of the dynasty, a distinct
Zand arthad the time to emerge. Many Qajar artistic traits were copied from the Zand examples.
In foreign policy, Karim Khan attempted to revive the Safavid era trade by allowing the British to establish a trading post in the port of
Bushehr. This opened the hands of the British East Indiacompany in Iran and increased their influence in the country. [ [http://www.iranvisitor.com/index.php?cID=417&pID=1159 Iran & Iranian History - Afshar and Zand :: Iran Visitor ] ] The taxation system was reorganized in a way that taxes were levied fairly. The judicial system was fair and generally humane. Capital punishment was rarely implemented. [ [http://www.infohub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2812 History of Iran - Kajar Dynasty - InfoHub ] ]
Kings of the Zand dynasty
Karim Khan, 1750– 1779
Abol Fath Khan, 1779
Ali Murad Khan, 1779
Mohammad Ali Khan, 1779
* Sadiq Khan,
Ali Murad Khan, 1782– 1785
Jafar Khan, 1785– 1789
* Lotf Ali Khan,
* [http://www.iranchamber.com/history/zand/zand.php http://www.iranchamber.com/history/zand/zand.php]
* [http://www.iranologie.com/history/history13.html http://www.iranologie.com/history/history13.html]
* [http://www.friesian.com/iran.htm#zand http://www.friesian.com/iran.htm#zand]
History of Iran
List of kings of Persia
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